Eddie Downey has announced he is resigning as president of the Irish Farmers' Association.

In a statement this evening, Mr Downey said he is making the decision with regret after working for more than 20 years with the organisation.

On Monday night, Mr Downey announced that he was standing back from his role as president while a review of remuneration at the IFA was carried out. 

A revelation that former secretary general Pat Smith's pay packet was as high as €535,000 a year was followed two days ago with news that Mr Downey was paid €147,000 a year.

Mr Downey was also in receipt of another €52,000 in director fees for the FBD insurance company - which the IFA has a stake in - and the IFA position on the board of Bord Bia.

A meeting of the IFA Executive Council at the association's headquarters today was earlier told that the severance package for Mr Smith is worth €2m.

The IFA says is to challenge the package in court.

The amount is made up of a lump sum of €1m plus an annual payment of €100,000 for the next ten years.

It is understood that the package was agreed between Mr Downey and Mr Smith.

It was also revealed that Mr Smith's pension fund was worth €2.7m 12 months ago when it was transferred out of the IFA into his possession.

The deal for his severance package was signed off by Mr Downey but was not signed by Treasurer Jer Bergin, Financial Director Ken Heade or Deputy President Tim O’Leary, who are said to have expressed major reservations and tried to prevent the agreement.